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News Release
Butterfly gowns worn by the Supremes. Photo by Rebecca Sapp, GRAMMY Museum.
Butterfly gowns worn by the Supremes. Photo by Rebecca Sapp, GRAMMY Museum.
Final Weeks! Motown: The Sound of Young America Closing March 26 at the Oregon Historical Society (Photo) - 03/15/23

Download images for press at bit.ly/motownpresskit.

Portland, OR — There “ain’t no mountain high enough” that should keep you from visiting Motown: The Sound of Young America before it closes on March 26! Curated by the GRAMMY Museum, this fun and dynamic exhibition shares the story of the famed record company and the artists who collectively changed the musical direction of the nation. An interactive experience where visitors can dance with the Temptations and sing with the Supremes, this traveling exhibition has been popular with locals and tourists alike. 

The 1960s was one of the most musically diverse decades in American history. While The Beatles and Bob Dylan topped the charts, a unique sound out of Detroit also shaped the musical landscape. It originated on the city’s streets and in its housing projects, reflecting seismic shifts in not just pop music, but in racial attitudes and youth culture. 

Berry Gordy, Jr., was the visionary behind both the music and the Black-owned record company he named Motown. A former prizefighter and songwriter, he believed that talent could be found on nearly every Detroit streetcorner. This blend of gospel, blues, and pop quickly became “The Sound of Young America,” crashing the American pop charts and challenging the British Invasion. From Motown came the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, the Jackson 5, and others. 

Motown: The Sound of Young America features stage outfits from many of the label’s top performers, interviews with Motown legends, and opportunities for visitors to get deep inside the creative process perfected at Motown. 

“One of my favorite parts of the exhibition is a jukebox where visitors can play their favorite Motown hits in the gallery,” said OHS Boyle Family Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk. “While this exhibition provides important context on a pivotal period in American pop culture history, it also engages visitors in fun interactive experiences that will provide a sense of nostalgia for many.”

Some of the iconic pieces on display in the exhibition include:

  • The iconic “Butterfly” gowns worn by the Supremes
  • A harmonica and keyboard played by Stevie Wonder
  • Ray Parker, Jr.’s, Gretsch guitar
  • A full set of Jackson 5 outfits
  • Jackets worn by Boyz II Men 
  • An outfit worn by a member of the Temptations

The Oregon Historical Society’s museum is open seven days a week, Monday–Saturday 10am–5pm and Sunday 12pm–5pm. Admission is $10, with discounts for students, seniors, teachers, and youth. Admission is free every day for OHS members and Multnomah County residents. Learn more and plan your visit at ohs.org/motown.

About the Oregon Historical Society

For more than a century, the Oregon Historical Society has served as the state’s collective memory, preserving a vast collection of objects, photographs, maps, manuscript materials, books, films, and oral histories. Our research library, museum, digital platforms, educational programming, and historical journal make Oregon’s history open and accessible to all. We exist because history is powerful, and because a history as deep and rich as Oregon’s cannot be contained within a single story or point of view. 

View more news releases from Oregon Historical Society.